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Patsos grades out well

Sunday, March 9, 2014
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— Is there another coach on the planet who starts a season-ending postgame press conference by glumly disclosing that he’s signed up for a yoga class?

No. None.

The guy who spends games in explosive contortions that leave his eyeballs bulging out of his skull and his necktie practically in tatters soon will be pursuing union with the divine.

This is what Siena bought into when it hired Jimmy Patsos.

The first question wasn’t about the Saints’ tough 71-65 loss to Canisius on Saturday, but about next season, and Patsos soon was muttering into the microphone.

“I have to get in shape. My health kick starts after the last game. I’m depressed . . . I’m starting yoga. I signed up for 9:30 in Saratoga, it’s disgusting, but I’ll do it.”

Jimmy the Show lived up to its billing this season, and Jimmy the Savior didn’t perform too badly, either. On a grading scale of A-B-C-D, he gave his team a B, and I’ll give him a B, as well, despite the fact that Siena had its fourth straight losing season.

Usually, the verb “to suffer” is applied to those, but nobody roaring in the large Siena fan sections on both sides of the MassMutual Center appeared to be doing any suffering, even after the Saints lost to finish at 15-17.

Siena will come back in 2014-15 with the identical roster, a year older and wiser; a new freshman class; and former Coppin State player Patrick Cole, who sat out the season due to NCAA transfer rules, but is widely regarded as a big-time scoring threat when he actually gets in a game next season.

It doesn’t hurt that the MAAC tournament will be back in Albany, either.

That said, it’s easy for fans to get ahead of themselves, and Patsos, as much as he loved coaching this team, was quick to caution against outsized expectation.

“We’re there, but be careful thinking we’re going to go from 15 [wins] to 20 just because we have good fans,” he said, after the formal press conference.

He then rattled off a laundry list of what needs to improve.

That included his coaching, which opened itself to questions when he chose not to foul with his team down by four with 47.2 seconds left against the Griffs.

Not much was expected of Siena this season, and Patsos himself admitted to sleepless nights before the opener trying to figure out what he had and what to do with it.

He gets a grade of B based on the recruits he brought in and the way he was able to cobble together a nice number of wins despite a roster that is the most dunk-challenged he’s seen in 25 years.

Now everybody just needs to breathe deeply and calm down.

 
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